The heart of Jane

I love my job.

We meet on Wednesdays as a team and part of that is sharing stories where we have seen God. I want to share this but I know I wont be able to without blubbering so I will share it here.

I received a voicemail that was 4 minutes and 50 seconds long from a lady (I will call her Jane) seeking financial assistance to pay a utility bill. The hard part of my job is that quite often I have to tell people “No” and try to redirect them to other community resources. With a database that shows 50,000 people in the community call this church theirs, you can imagine how many requests we receive for assistance.

So I took a deep breath and dialed the phone. This call surprised me. After I told her that we could not help her and discussed her options her words to me showed that she is listening and taking in what she hears at the services. Jane stated that she understood that her free will put her in this position and she is owning that.

Jane is a recovering alcoholic who just celebrated a year being sober. Her ex husband is an alcoholic and is dying from liver disease. She is living with friends because she cannot afford to have her utilities turned on and her son has to stay with his Dad during this time because of it. it is a very emotionally difficult situation for them all.

She shared that this church is the first one that her autistic son actually enjoys and can pay attention to. His love of this church brought her to Christ. She has been attending for about 6 months.

She then started to tell me a story. One of a new friend (they just met a couple months ago) that she brought to our church who enjoyed the services because it reminded her of her own church. Their friendship progressed at mach speed and apparently this friend endures dialysis daily and needs a kidney transplant. The friend recently gave Jane her Bible and told her a bunch of scriptures that she needed to pay attention to. She recently started mentioning to Jane that she is looking forward to seeing the Kingdom of God. This is the part of the story where Jane began to cry.

Jane was flabbergasted because recently she made the decision to go and be tested to see if she were a match to be able to give her friend a kidney. She mentioned that a year ago she would not have even considered doing something like that. The friend somehow put her off. She is now in a coma. She is currently being kept alive with the help of machinery. Jane realized that the friend knew and the doctors confirmed that this late in the game the odds of her body accepting a transplanted kidney were slim, but the one thing that Jane is taking away from the experience is how much her friend was looking forward to being with God. That she is not afraid to die. I am taking away how much God is working in the heart of Jane.

Who I am

Who am I?

Many years ago in a college writing class my assignment was to write an essay about who I am. I was a genius of course and wrote all kinds of questions and answers about how at such a young age of only 22 years I could hardly write about who I am when I have not lived long enough to fully understand who I am and contemplated that I will never really know the answer until the day that I take my last breath.

I got an A+ on that paper. Can you believe we were not even required to TYPE it! Oh how times have changed.

So, 16 years later…I still believe I was right, maybe now a little less pompous

To answer that question now…again, oh have times (and I) changed:

I believe that I am a middle class, thirty something white female born into a family with hardworking parents hoping as most parents do that their children will succeed on a higher level than their own. Have I succeeded to the extent that my parents had dreamed? Probably not monetarily, but I do not measure my value or success in that way. Not any longer.

I measure myself against the families next door, across the street, in the poorer and richer neighborhoods as well as royalty, celebrities, superstars, rock stars, doctors, lawyers, janitors, waitresses, strippers, drug dealers, murderers, pedophiles, prostitutes, drug addicts, and homeless. I measure myself against them and find myself their equal.

No better.

No worse.

I measure my value by the love given to me. Not the love from my husband, parents, children or friends, though it is love that I cherish and am thankful for, but rather from believing in God and more importantly the relationship I have with Him because “belief” is not enough. He loves me. He loves all of us, including and not limited to those that I earlier stated that I measure myself against. I follow Christ and though I sometimes stumble, trip or even fall in His footsteps, I will continue to pick myself up, ask for forgiveness, dust myself off and keep following that narrow path. Because of the relationship that He and I have, I know that no matter what I do, He loves me and His love is not increased or diminished by my own actions.

That love, it is the only measure of a man that I need consider. It is there for me and for you, no matter who you are. We are equal.

Thoughts in and out of surgery

Why do they have to ask you first thing when you enter if you need to use the rest room?
Why am I fine until they ask that?
Love the gown. The oxygen tube is a nice touch.
Why am I nervous? It’s JUST an elbow.
Where is my husband?
Does the I.V have to go in my hand?
Oh my WORD! I don’t remember I.V.s hurting so bad.
It wouldn’t thread? What does that mean?
Yeah, go ahead and try the hand. I would LOVE a local.
Really, red hair and freckles is a sign someone is hard to stick? Good to know.
Third times a charm.
Really, I was kidding about the foot.
It’s okay, I understand that you don’t have a road map to my veins.
Where is my husband?
DUDE that hurts!
Wow, thats cool. How do you make the lights do that?
Ow! What was that? That light effect is REALLLY cool!
Hi honey! When did you get here? Was I snoring?
Will you hold my hand? You are?
My hand feels like it is on my stomach, will you please put it there, it is freaking me out to see it THERE and feel it THERE.
Hi Doc! You want me to pray? I cant put a thought together let alone a prayer!
OHHHH you’re gonna pray. That would be SWEET! Thank you.
Love you honey.
OH My WORD! Do they have to keep it Arctic in operating rooms!
I am freezing!
More drugs…okay.
I need to pee.
Yes, I can Stand I need to pee!
Okay, it is a little uncomfortable having you in here, I don’t even let my husband see me pee.
Yes I remember going to the bathroom.
What time is it?
Yeah, I’m ready lets go.
When will I feel my arm again?
Why has my block not worn off yet?
This is irritating.
My block is wearing off.
When will my meds start working?
I must be a wuss. Why aren’t these meds working?
OH MY GOD, Help me, this hurts worse than labor!
Three. Okay, I will take 3. No I don’t think I will need THAT!
Okay, yeah we can remove the splint on day 3.
That’s attractive.
Honey will you wash my arm?
How am I going to do my hair?
This sucks!
Lets put the splint back on.
I wonder if I can drive.
Why do they allow your fingers to be free but not in a way that I can type with them?
Typing one handed sucks.
I need to talk to my doctor.
I knew I was going to be a pain in the *****